About Bhakti Yoga Philosophy - Yoga Practice Blog

About Bhakti Yoga Philosophy

Bhakti Yoga philosophy By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500

Bhakti Yoga philosophy arises from the foundational teachings of Yoga that originated in India several thousand years ago. Ancient Vedic practitioners began writing down their experiences with the various practices of Yoga. The art and practice of Yoga became systematized when these seers began to realize that the scientific practice of a steady Yoga practice has predictable results on individuals. Ultimately the essential message of all Yogic practices is the process of coming to know one’s own inner divinity. This is the goal of all Yoga techniques, including Bhakti Yoga practices, union with God.


The branch of Yoga practice called Bhakti is based on love or devotion of the devotee for the immanent and transcendent divine. Bhakti Yoga is simply stated, the Yoga of devotion. The philosophy of Bhakti Yoga is based on the ancient Vedic teachings from India, including Narada’s Bhakti Sutras. The Bhakti Yoga Sutras emphasize love as a path to self-realization and oneness with God. There are a volumes of devotional poetry written by Bhakti Yoga practitioners such as Rumi, St. Teresa the Little Flower, John of the Cross and Mirabai. These poets describe the excruciating, bitter-sweet longing for union with the divine and the process of purification and merging into God.

Bhakti Yoga philosophy and methodology do not exclude any religion, deity or Guru. This practice is compatible with a wide variety of religious traditions, particularly the mystical side of many major religions including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. These different religions are like spokes on a wheel, that all lead to the same place, the place of pulsating divine love within our own beings. The devotional practices and philosophies of Bhakti Yoga can be applied in any spiritual context. The outer forms and rituals may differ, but the essence remains the same, merging into the divine heart of God.


Bhakti Yoga philosophy gives transcendent beacons of light as we walk through this world. These teachings are powerful tools to aligning our hearts and minds with God’s love and grace. Bhakti Yoga philosophies arose several thousand years ago in ancient India from the spiritual insights and experiences of dedicated students of Yoga. The philosophies and teachings of Bhakti Yoga help to guide the ardent devotee in his or her spiritual quest to know God intimately. Through the steadfast practice of Bhakti Yoga and the application of the philosophies of this spiritual path, a devotee ultimately merges into the essence of God.

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The Path Of Bhakti Yoga

By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 1000

The path of Bhakti Yoga is a universal and spiritual discipline based on devotion to the divine. Divinity comes in many different forms. The Bhakti Yoga path honors and worships the divine in the form of God, the inherent divine essence in all beings, including oneself, and the divine as manifested through one’s Guru or teacher. The meaning of the word “Yoga” is yoke or union.

The path of Bhakti Yoga and its practitioners, known as bhaktas, are earnestly searching for union with the divine energy within their hearts as manifested by the intense longing for oneness with their Guru or God. To accomplish this goal, bhaktas use Yogic techniques such as prayer, mantra, chanting divine names, and ritual worship. Ultimately, the goal of Bhakti Yoga is to be immersed in love and to serve others from that place.

Bhakti Yoga is one of the fastest and surest paths to obtaining oneness with God and self-realization. Many Bhakti Yoga practitioners engage in the singing of divine texts, mantras, and prayers. These chants keep the bhakta’s mind focused on the divine within. The syllables of the mantras themselves help to purify our energy fields and to revitalize us. Through kirtan or devotional singing, our minds are uplifted, and our beings begin to pulsate with divine grace.

Bhakti Yoga practitioners also intensely long for oneness with their Guru or teacher. An enlightened teacher who awakens a student’s inner divinity will embody divine love and grace for that student. The student’s Guru will also act as a mirror for the student, reflecting the student’s positive and negative qualities back to the student so that the student may go through the alchemical process of purification and live more fully in the awareness of God’s love and presence within his or her own heart.

Many ritual acts of worship encompass offerings of prayers, food, and flowers. These offerings honor God and help to keep the student’s mind and heart focused on the goal of Bhakti Yoga, oneness with the divine. Ritual acts of worship also honor the Guru-disciple relationship and the importance of the Guru in the student’s life.

Seva, or selfless service, naturally springs from the awakening of deep love and compassion within the student’s heart. According to the Indian scriptures, the highest goal of Bhakti Yoga is service to God, one’s Guru, and all other living beings. The path of Bhakti Yoga is one of devotion.

© Copyright Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

What Is Bhakti Yoga?

By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 1000

Many Hatha Yoga practitioners ask, “What is Bhakti Yoga?” Bhakti Yoga is the devotional practice of loving the Divine in order to merge with and become one with the essential nature of God. With this merging comes great bliss and liberation from the illusory and temporary attachments of this world. The devotion to the Divine may come in different cultural forms.

Bhakti Yoga originated from India, but the essence of the practice is found in the mystical heart of many different major religions such as Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The Bhakti Yogi or Yogini, through an ardent and sustained practice of devotional chants, prayers, contemplations, rituals, and pujas, will eventually obtain oneness with God and the bliss of liberation.

The core experience of Bhakti Yoga is that the essential nature of all reality is comprised of love, and love is what comprises the essential nature of God. The deep inner longing for oneness with the Divine is what propels and catalyzes the devotional practices of a Bhakti Yogi or Yogini. At the core of this longing is a sense of separateness from the Divine.

The path of Bhakti Yoga is considered to be the super-highway of Yogic practices. It is reputed to be one of the surest ways to reach enlightenment and God realization. It is an incredibly uplifting and joyful practice that is built on the bittersweet pain of separation and longing. Many devotees who practice Bhakti Yoga have a Guru who is their guide on this path. The Guru becomes the light shining in the darkness and a magnet for the devotion of the disciple.

A Bhakti Yoga practice that is based on an authentic lineage with a true Guru will ultimately lead the disciple back to the Divine presence within his or her own being. In Bhakti Yoga, the devotee, the Guru and God all become united in an uninterrupted field of pulsating bliss and knowledge. The Bhakti Yogi is left with an unwavering experience that the very fabric of the universe is comprised of love, and that everything around us is the manifestation of that Divine energy.

In our fast-paced world, the practice of Bhakti Yoga is considered to be the creme-de-la-creme of Yogic practices. This path of devotional singing, meditations, prayers, rituals, and pujas most surely leads a dedicated practitioner to the heart of all spiritual practices, the Divinity residing in our own hearts. As Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God lies within.” This is both the experience and the goal of Bhakti Yoga practices.

© Copyright Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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